Brussels, Dec.4 : The challenges in war-torn Afghanistan are great and it is time for the allies involved in the global war against terror) "to do better", the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) said on Wednesday.
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said: "The challenges are great...the allies have to do better and we need extra troops (in Afghanistan) for stability, particularly during the elections scheduled for next year."
ccording to the Daily Times, Scheffer, who was addressing a press conference at the conclusion of the NATO foreign ministers meeting here, also conceded that a military solution was not the answer to the Afghan problem. He supported political efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. He also acknowledged the commitment of Pakistan to fight extremism and terrorism in co-ordination with the allies and NATO in its Tribal Areas.
To a question about Pakistan-India tension in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, he said he was not concerned in case attention was diverted from Pakistan's western border to its eastern border. But he said he hoped that better sense would prevail and Pakistan would continue operations in its Tribal Areas.
Earlier a joint communique, issued after the NATO foreign ministers' meeting, also referred to increased co-operation between Afghanistan and its neighbors, particularly Pakistan. The communique also expressed NATO members' satisfaction over closer co-operation between NATO, ISAF, Afghanistan and Pakistan through the tripartite commission and hoped that steps would be taken to further improve border security.
However, it did not give any timeframe for NATO and the allies to pull out from Afghanistan.